Plotinus and the Presocratics: A Philosophical Study of Presocratic Influences in Plotinus' Enneads

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-01-01
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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Filling the void in the current scholarship, Giannis Stamatellos provides the first book-length study of the Presocratic influences in Plotinus' Enneads. Widely regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus (204-270 AD) assimilated eight centuries of Greek thought into his work. In this book Stamatellos focuses on eminent Presocratic thinkers who are significant in Plotinus' thought, including Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the early Pythagoreans, and the early Atomists. The Presocratic references found in the Enneads are studied in connection with Plotinus' fundamental theories of the One and the unity of being, intellect and the structure of the intelligible world, the nature of eternity and time, the formation of the material world, and the nature of the ensouled body. Stamatellos concludes that, contrary to modern scholarship's dismissal of Presocratic influence in the Enneads, Presocratic philosophy is in fact an important source for Plotinus, which he recognized as valuable in its own right and adapted for key topics in his thought. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Giannis Stamatellos is Instructor of Ancient Greek Philosophy at New York College in Athens, Greece

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The Origins of Plotinus' Philosophyp. 3
Plotinus' Predecessorsp. 3
Plotinus' Philosophical Methodp. 4
Lectures and Writingsp. 5
Language, Simile, and Metaphorp. 6
Quoting Predecessorsp. 8
Plotinus' Philosophical Sourcesp. 10
Platop. 11
Aristotlep. 14
Stoics and Epicureansp. 14
Middle-Platonists, Aristotelians, and Neopythagoreansp. 15
Gnostics, Christians, the Orient, and Other Contemporary Movementsp. 17
Plotinus and the Preoscraticsp. 19
One and Unityp. 23
The One in Plotinusp. 23
The Presocratic One in the Enneadsp. 26
Parmenides' Monismp. 30
The Ineffable Onep. 33
The Apophatism of the First Principlep. 35
The Pythagorean Apophatism of the Monadp. 36
The One as First Principlep. 42
Heraclitus' Onep. 44
Empedocles' Philiap. 48
Anaxagoras' Mindp. 53
Intellect and Beingp. 59
Plotinus' Theory of Intellectp. 59
Elastic Being in the Enneadsp. 64
The Nature of Beingp. 65
Parmenides' Theory of Beingp. 66
Plotinus on Parmenides' Beingp. 70
Thinking and Beingp. 72
The Predicates of Beingp. 80
Ungenerated and Indestructiblep. 81
Indivisible and Self-identicalp. 83
Imperturbable and Changelessp. 84
Eternity and Timep. 89
Plotinus' Theory of Eternity and Timep. 89
Eternity and Time in the Presocraticsp. 94
The Presocratic Theories of Eternity and Time in the Enneadsp. 96
The Timelessness of Beingp. 99
Philolaus' Eternal Continuance and Plato's Eternity of the Formsp. 101
Parmenides' Timelessness of Beingp. 105
Plotinus' Timelessness of Eternityp. 111
The Eternal Life of Intellectp. 112
Eternity in Heraclitusp. 114
Eternal Life in Empedoclesp. 117
The Everlastingness of Timep. 120
The Myth of Timep. 121
The Everlastingness of the Cosmosp. 123
The Movement of the Spheres, Eternal Recurrence, and Spiral Timep. 129
Matter and Soulp. 135
Matter and Ensouled Body in Plotinusp. 135
Plotinus' Criticism of Presocratic Matterp. 138
Anximander's apeironp. 139
Empedocles' Theory of the Four Elementsp. 142
Anaxagoras' Theory of Matterp. 145
The Atomic Theory of Matterp. 150
Plotinus' Theory of the Ensouled Bodyp. 156
The Presocratic Theories of the Ensouled Body in the Enneadsp. 158
Heraclitus' Theory of Soul and Physical Alternationp. 158
The daimon in Empedoclesp. 166
Conclusionp. 173
Text of Presocratic Fragments in Plotinus' Enneadsp. 177
Notesp. 197
Bibliographyp. 239
Index Fontiump. 255
Index of Concepts and Proper Namesp. 259
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